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dream vacation

i've written about this before, but i have an odd tendency to travel in my sleep. i don't mean that i roll around  and shift positions a lot [although that was a problem in my childhood], but rather that i take these strange vacations in other places that do actually exist, for no particular reason. i would love to travel more, like most people i know, but in my dreams, i seem to pick places that wouldn't normally occur to me. [like greenland, which was actually green when i dreamt about it, and the volcanoes between chile and antarctica that i swear i didn't know about before i dreamt them, but which really do exist.]

for instance, a couple of nights ago, i dreamt that dom and i had gone on vacation to jerusalem, more specifically east jerusalem, also known as  the palestinian section, and also where a lot of palestinian homes get bulldozed. it's walled off from the west, israeli, part of the city, although the two are connected by a light rail line and a lot of history. it's not a place where i would have chosen to go on vacation in my waking life, being beset by racism and poverty, to say nothing of it being dangerous for a know-nothing tourist.

nonetheless, i dreamt that dom and i were there, staying in a pleasant apartment. the weather was nice. we wandered around the city a lot, although we couldn't just cross the barrier and go to the other half of the city. we were in the process of making some arrangements for a day trip when a lady from one of the adjacent apartments suggested that we should all go to russia together, once her husband was back from his business trip to north korea.

my dream apparently decided to just shove all the passport disasters it could think of into one entertaining package.

we agreed that this was an awesome idea, although even in the dream world, we were a little weirded out by the idea that this woman's husband was doing business in north korea like it was nothing. [plenty of people do. -ed.] however, just before we headed out on that adventure, we were finally able to go on that awesome day trip.

we headed across the divide, accompanied by a montreal friend who hadn't made an appearance to that point, and we met up with someone dominic knew who was actually just a figment of my imagination. the guy was a huge film buff, and had this amazing collection, which is proof that i'm not nearly as creative as i think i am, because of course dom had a friend with a massive film collection.

we were heading out to see the old city and its environs when our montreal friend [who does exist, even when i'm awake] said that he'd like to see the russian district of the city. everyone around me in this dream was really into russia.

so we went to the russian district, which had a lot of beautiful, but slightly creepy architecture.

i can't remember what happened after that, although i do think that we made it to russia at some point. it was really about us being in jerusalem.

when i woke up, i was perplexed, but these dreams are generally kind of exhilarating, so i felt good. and, of course, i looked up some photos of east jerusalem to see how it compared to my dream. [not far off, although it was in better shape in the dream, sadly.] it wasn't until later that i thought to look up something about russians in jerusalem. i knew that a lot of russian jews had moved to israel, particularly after the collapse of the soviet union. [more russian jews now live in israel than in russia, although they, among othersaren't always made to feel welcome.] but i was pretty certain that there wasn't an established enough community to constitute a "russian district". do you see where this is heading?

that's right, there totally is a russian district that's more than a hundred years old and it is, indeed, a tourist attraction in jerusalem's old city, exactly where i placed it.

the russian compound, jerusalem

inside of the russian orthodox holy trinity cathedral, jerusalem
i have no recollection of ever hearing about any kind of russian area of jerusalem, even though i remember hearing about the city when my mother visited there in the 1980s. but there you have it. on the unlikely chance that i ever find myself in jerusalem, i'm definitely going to check it out.

as far as going to east jerusalem, i would like to see what's there, and it turns out there are people inviting tourists to find out more about it.

i suspect that part of this might have been triggered by an article a friend sent me the other day about muslimgauze whose resolute dedication to advancing awareness of the lives of muslims in many parts of the world was unparalleled. so, in closing, here's the hypnotic "arab jerusalem".



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